Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday that Tony Gonzalez is expected to return to the Atlanta Falcons next season if the team can accommodate two of his wishes.
According to Silver, Gonzalez, who turned 37 last month, is looking to be paid $7 million next season, and he would like to miss some or all of training camp. Gonzalez earned $4.9 million last year and is a free agent.
“If we offer him the money, he’ll most likely be back for one more. He’ll most likely be looking to miss training camp, though,” a team source told Silver.
USA Today’s Jim Corbett later reported that Gonzalez is expected to inform the team that he will return next season.
Gonzalez talked throughout last season about retiring. He said he was 95-97 percent certain to retire, but we noted that he seemed to hedge on that plan following the Falcons’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Gonzalez only said that he would “probably” retire, which allowed for the possibility that he could return.
Gonzalez returning for another season makes plenty of sense for both sides. Despite being 36, Gonzalez had his best season since joining the Falcons. He caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns, all of which were season-highs for him since joining the team. He also won a playoff game for the first time in his career and came one win away from reaching the Super Bowl.
Gonzalez played spectacularly during the playoffs and is still a top tight end in the league. He keeps himself in great shape, so there really is no reason he shouldn’t come back to give it another shot.Google+